How to get cheap flights within Asia, specifically between China and Vietnam?
August 23, 2009 8:05 PM   Subscribe

How to get cheap flights within Asia, specifically between China and Vietnam?

On behalf of a friend: if you were in Beijing, where would you go to get cheap flights to Vietnam? My friend is under 26 and a student, if that helps, and needs a return flight Beijing-Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) in October.
posted by AmbroseChapel to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
MeFi user gman may know...
posted by KokuRyu at 9:44 PM on August 23, 2009


airasia.com and tigerairways.com are the major "discount airlines" that I used while in the area, but you're gonna have a hard time getting cheap tickets between those two spots. Intra-China tickets can be pretty cheap, but international flights originating in China tend to be pricey. Flights to Vietnam also tend to be expensive. Your best bet may be to try to find an airasia flight from Macau or somewhere else in the south of China that goes to Saigon. Also, if your friend is trying this on dates near the October holiday, cheap tickets will be much harder to find.

You can try ctrip.com and elong.com but I didn't find them to be very helpful for international flights. They're quite good for domestic flights though.
posted by bluejayk at 11:54 PM on August 23, 2009


If your friend can make it to Macau, Viva Macau has cheap tickets to Saigon. If he or she is adventurous and has lots of time, might want to consider the train.
posted by Etaoin Shrdlu at 12:12 AM on August 24, 2009


Oops, wrong link for train.
posted by Etaoin Shrdlu at 12:15 AM on August 24, 2009


The best bet, price-wise, is sometimes to go to a travel agent here, tell them what you've been quoted by, e.g., Expedia (or better yet, CTrip or eLong, China's sui generis versions thereof -- both of which often have pretty good prices) and then ask if they can get you a better price. Sometimes they can, particularly if you're flexible on the date: one way they sometimes push prices down is by booking a bunch of people together as a tourist group.

The train would be my preferred option if I weren't in any great hurry: train travel in China is quite pleasant, and can be a really nice way to see the country.
posted by bokane at 4:29 AM on August 24, 2009


Dragon Air used to have ridiculous deals.

If your friend's Chinese isn't up to the task he/she should definitely get a Chinese friend to go on eLong with him/her. Likewise if he/she chooses the train option with huochepiao.com.
posted by Pollomacho at 6:08 AM on August 24, 2009


Thanks everyone for your help. The train isn't really an option as far as I know, but I'll suggest it. All very useful.

>If your friend's Chinese isn't up to the task he/she should definitely get a Chinese friend to go on eLong with him/her.

eLong has an English version! I'm looking at it now. There's a little "En" at the right hand side of the page header.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 3:33 PM on August 24, 2009


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